A 6-2, 182 outfielder, Dahl was taken 10th overall by the Colorado Rockies after a strong career at Oak Mountain High in Birmingham. Expected to play center field on the next level, Dahl has been compared to both Johnny Damon and Jacoby Ellsbury because of his combination of size and speed. As a junior he hit .412 with three home runs and 18 stolen bases.
"He's big and I love the fact that he throws right and bats left," former MLB standout Harold Reynolds said. "He gets out of the box well and has some power and speed."
"He's a tool type player," former Cleveland Indians GM John Hart said on Dahl. "I think when you grade him out the one tool that doesn't jump out is the power but he's 18 years old. He's got the swing and a little lift in his swing and can hit the ball the other way. If the power comes he's a middle of the order hitter."
One of the top high school shortstop prospects in recent years, the 6-1, 195 Russell hit .460 in his four-year career with 37 home runs. It's that power and ability to play the middle infield that had scouts high on his potential.
"I like the pick," Reynolds said. "This is a very athletic youngster that can play in the middle of the diamond no doubt about it. I'm shocked the A's took a high school player so they must think an awful lot about him to take him with this pick."
Both Dahl and Russell were part of the Team USA Under-18 team that won the Gold Medal at the Junior Pan Am Games last fall. Part of a team that went 5-0 in the tournament, including a 12-2 win over Canada for the gold medal, Dahl and Russell both played well in the wins. Starting all nine games for the team that included four preliminary wins, Dahl hit .364 with two doubles, one triple, and nine RBI. Not to be outdone Russell hit .393 with three doubles, one triple, nine RBI, and one big home run.